Illegal immigrants living in Britain after being refused asylum can be evicted without a court order under new laws to be introduced by the UK government. Additionally, landlords failing to check the immigration status of tenants could be hit with a five-year prison sentence. This is all part of the government's plans to make Britain a less attractive destination for migrants.
UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, has warned migrants attempting to reach Britain that "its streets are not paved with gold. The government will be making changes to the law that will permit landlords to evict illegal immigrants without requiring a court order."
Landlords flouting the new laws will be hit with a hefty fine or face up to five years in jail. Failure to check the immigration status of a tenant will become a criminal offence that will form part of a new UK immigration bill.
UK communities secretary, Greg Clark, has announced that a 'rogue landlord blacklist' will be created, enabling councils and letting agents to target persistent landlord offenders with the necessary enforcement action. Mr Clark said: "We're determined to clampdown on rogue landlords."
Calais immigrants crisis
Clark's announcement comes as foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, and Home Secretary Theresa May make preparations to alternate the chairing of 'Cobra' committee meetings. Cobra is the name given to the government's emergency committee currently dealing with the ongoing migrant crisis in Calais.
Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: "The government will be leaving no stone unturned, while we respond to the 'swarm of people' trying to reach Britain from Calais. A new fence will be erected at the entrance to the Channel tunnel in France by Friday, 7 August."
Home Office plans to immediately strip access to benefits from immigrant families whose asylum applications are rejected has been described as 'morally reprehensible.' The Refugee Council voiced their concerns after immigration minister, James Brokenshire, backed the plans to deny access to benefits for immigrants refused asylum.
He said: "By removing the automatic right to benefits for those who do not secure asylum is a way of showing that Britain is not a land of milk and honey."
Plans to deny access to benefits for those refused UK asylum form part of the governments attempts to put off immigrants from coming to Britain in the first place. The government hopes, by portraying the UK as a country that's a 'cold place' for rejected asylum seekers to be, it will discourage other migrants from coming to the UK.
In a recent, joint article published by the Sunday Telegraph and written by French minister, Ben Cazeneuve and Theresa May, they said: "The long-term solution concerning the Calais migrant crisis is to reduce the number of migrants arriving in Europe from Africa. Many migrants view Europe, and especially Britain, as an opportunity for monetary gain. This is just not the case - UK streets are not paved with gold."
Evicting illegal immigrants to get easier
Mr Clark has warned migrants that the new immigration bill will simplify the process of evicting illegal immigrants from rental properties. Upon receipt of a Home Office notification that a tenant does not have any rights to rent property in the UK, landlords will be expected to evict them immediately. In some cases, landlords will be permitted to do this without needing a court order in place.
To check the UK immigration status of a tenant, landlords will have access to the 'Right to Rent' scheme, which is currently being trialled in the West Midlands and will be rolled out across the UK in the coming weeks. The scheme allows landlords to check a person's right to remain in Britain by looking at their biometric residence permit or passport.
A new 'fit and proper person' test will also be introduced by the government for landlords. The Government says that this will mean better quality rental property for tenants.
Clark said: "Cracking down on rogue landlords profiting from illegal immigration is a top priority. They are exploiting the UK immigration system and vulnerable people for the purpose of making money. New laws mean landlords are obligated to check whether potential tenants are in the UK legally."